just stop

by amandamaephotos

Anyone who lives in Lynchburg, or has visited it once or twice, knows that we have some pretty spectacular sunsets. It can take your breath right away. Normally during these delicious moments or seconds as the sky is on fire, I am driving. If I’m super lucky I will even have my camera sitting next to me. I then proceed to try and capture (failing miserably) the wonder that is starting at me through the windshield. Well, that is just dangerous, and stupid, as I swerve  down the road with a huge camera extended over my dashboard. Most of the time my windshield is streaked with bugs and dirt. Then these images either get deleted or lost on my hard drive never to be looked at again, because I horde images like you wouldn’t believe. Well on Sunday, first day of the year, I actually stopped. It was a quick stop, but I got out of my truck for once, music and heat still blasting. Snapped a few pictures, hopped back in the truck and drove off into the sunset…literally. 😉

My mom texts me a quote almost every morning. Dedication, I know. That’s because she is so wonderful. Here is this morning’s.

“Rather than look for meaning in breathtaking moments, we should find meaning in every breath we take, and make every breath meaningful.” Julie Ackerman Link.

Let that sink in.

This got me thinking. How often do we get cough up in the business of life. America and most other first world countries are so fast-paced. It makes me sick. We crave it. We always have to have something in front of use, something to full up our days. I am queen of this. In the car, music is on. At home, music is on. On the computer, forget it. There are always 5 or more windows open, the poor little machine sounds like a airplane taking off, and I have my cell phone glued to my side corresponding with 10 people via text. Ok, I may have exaggerated a little, but you get the point. How often do we take the time to sit, be quite, and just think or read. Again I say Quietly. Maybe I’m just talking to myself here.

Make time. Time for quiet. Time to let your brain relax.

Back to the quote. Yes, treasure those breathtaking moments, but don’t make life all about them. Because we are so fast-paced, we need those breathtaking moments to capture out attention, and it normally only lasts for a moment, that’s why we call them that. Or, that is my though anyway.

Take this image. It may not be the most breathtaking photo, but you get the picture. This sunset was a breathtaking moment. It made me stop.

And now this photo. First a little background. I took 3 weeks off from anything involving my photo business. I was losing creativity and needed a break. During Christmas while I was home, I did NOTHING. And when I say nothing, I mean it. Slept in most days. Totally bummed it. Took 2 hrs to get ready instead of the usual 30 minutes. It was nice. The last day I finally went out in nature, something I had been meaning to do all week, and hung out with my dog. That sounds like such a manly thing to do, but hey, it was refreshing and relaxing. As I was leaving the house, it started to snow. It was magical. It was quiet. I took my camera out too, for the first time. We walked through the woods I played in as a child. Visited the forts my siblings and I would spend hours in. Reflecting on a simpler time, when technology meant nothing to us and we entertained ourselves with sticks and old buried “treasure” aka junk. We came across a field I used to ride my horse through. Then, it was spotted with a few fir trees and you could see from one end to the other. Now, it looks like a different world. Kinda like one you might find in a C.S. Lewis book. It was completely overgrown. It was a quiet little wonderland. I sat down on a carpet of needles and started working on my New Years resolution list. Cody soon joined, being the loyal and loving dog that he is. Right here. I found meaning. Breathing in the cold chilly air, alive and healthy. A dog so loyal and loving at my side. The quietness and memories.  ” we should find meaning in every breath we take, and make every breath meaningful.”

I hope you find meaning in every breath and make every breath meaningful this year.

It’s a good goal. Right?